I think it’s rare in Corporate America to find that “perfect job” because unless you really love to play at politics, you are always dealing with some level of bullshit you just don’t want to be dealing with.
In Corporate America, you often lose the ability to make good decisions because your boss, group leader or company just want the business to move in a different manner. And you get left to execute something you don’t believe in.
But, I think I was lucky in the role I started in September. This company is so far behind the times that the opportunity for change is ripe, and I love change. Consider me a change-agent. It’s why I was so interested in the role to begin with.
What I find most fascinating about my new role is the level of thankfulness people feel for having me here. One person mentioned to my boss that I was the most “natural and organic” transition that they have ever experienced. Another mentioned to him they thought I had been here a long time based on how I was able to navigate difficult conversations. I have had nothing but a wonderful welcome.
Me being me questions this as much as I try to embrace it.
Is it too much of a good thing?
I have made two “friends” already who defer to me for advice – which is fascinating when I have been in the role for about just about 8 weeks now. I feel very useful and this seems to be a big unlock for me.
I think I have questioned my “usefulness” in many different ways over the years. Was I a good daughter, friend, wife, mother, lover or employee? Did/do I give the people around me what they need from me? Often times I neglect my own well-being for the better being of others. I feel best when I am serving others in some capacity.
However, when I serve and do well, I also like to be rewarded in some way. I am not selfless for sure. I don’t like to give and not receive. It could be simple acknowledgement, some words…this certainly plays right into my love language of Words of Affirmation. If you can affirm that I am doing well, I will keep doing it, even trying to do better.
This job has put me on a pedestal. While I love it, it also makes me a little nervous as I can get on my high horse. I have to watch my opinion of myself very carefully and be sure my ego doesn’t inflate disproportionately. I can see this happening. It’s always been something I have to keep an eye on. I just think now, at my age, and hopefully with some wisdom, I know when it’s happening and I can have my inner compass guide me in a more appropriate manner.
I am traveling on a 2 week trip to Asia and Italy. We are meeting with about 60 vendors to negotiate terms and contracts. This is the first time I am sincerely on the line for cost savings….there is no “boss” above me to be responsible for failure. Of course I do have a boss and a bosses boss etc, but this time the win/lose proposition is my responsibility. I am equal parts excited and nervous for this trip to happen.
Stepping up to this role at this level was a big win for me personally. I had released the thought of this happening about a two years ago when my new boss at my old job clearly didn’t like me or appreciate what I could bring to the table. He wanted things done his way, he wanted minions. I couldn’t work that way. As much as there was a corporate downsizing, I would be a fool to say I didn’t play a part in my boss being able to make the decision to let me go based on our relationship – I didn’t work to nurture it or play the game his way.
In hindsight, that was the best thing I could have done. While I didn’t exactly leave the company on my terms, I did leave with my professional integrity intact. Coming into this new role where all of those values and qualities I hold dear are admired, has been a huge boost to my self-esteem. The fact that people are so encouraged I can make a difference is driving me to be the best I can be in this role.
This is deeply satisfying to me. Combined with a wonderful summer of spending time with my children, the ability to purchase my home and pay off my x the lump sum from the divorce decree and purchase the car of my dreams, I have landed in a very gratifying position in life. I haven’t felt like this in as many years as I can remember.
Perhaps the last time I felt this satiated in my life was when my children were young. I was a great mother with a good career. My parents were alive and well. My marriage seemed stable, if not entirely happy. Things seemed full to me.
This is also probably the reason I am better able to navigate breaking up with Bennett. So much is right in my life, that it’s hard to dedicate much time to what’s not right. My priorities are in order. I love Bennett, deeply, fully….but I need a man who I can call my own freely. I wish it could be him, I do. But I have come to realize that I cannot make us both crazy that it just cannot be right now, or maybe ever, I don’t know. It is out of my control.
Some days I do worry that my job is so encompassing now that I am not being the best mom I can be. I am not even sure if I could be a better mom – I struggled with that all summer. While one child is so mild and loving I wonder what I did to deserve him, the other two present their own unique challenges. I pray that I find the path to lead them along as they come close to their adulthood. I think every day now that I wish I had my mother to speak to. I wasn’t an easy child by any means, and perhaps she could give me some guidance on how she managed / didn’t manage me. I see myself in my older teens. I find it hard to walk that line of understanding them as teens and wanting to parent and discipline them appropriately so they learn their lessons.
So, while the next few posts may be about the loss of Bennett and how that makes me feel, I needed to say out loud that life is good right now. I feel very lucky to be where I am, and I am not sure I have ever been this grateful before. There is a certainty about my life I have never felt.
Strange how that comes to me now, when I am on my own.
I’m off for two weeks and generally speaking, I usually like to write while traveling long hauls. Maybe I will give my hand over to fiction again for a while. Maybe I will write travelogues. Maybe I won’t write at all.
Either way, my head is on straight and I’m not drowning in deep despair as I was this time last year. Of course, I could be happier – couldn’t we all? But I look at it this way….if everything I wanted was so easy to obtain, what would I have left to work towards?